Gary Neville hails the importance of Michael Carrick to Manchester United

A former Manchester United player has highlighted the importance of one of their current stars.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has highlighted the player Louis van Gaal’s side is desperately missing.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the pundit said, “When Michael Carrick doesn’t play, their record without him shows he is missed.

“It is not just the control and composure, but it is his forward passes; he just moves the ball forward into good areas quickly. They miss him badly, they really do.”

Carrick missed the start of the season with a muscle injury and it is no coincidence that during that period United lost to both Swansea City and Leicester City and could only draw with Sunderland and Burnley.

That poor start may have cost them a chance to fight for the Premier League title this season, but his return saw an upturn in results only for a shin injury to side-line him for the last two matches.

Two defeats against Chelsea and Everton mean a top-four finish is not yet secure, but whatever the rest of the season has in store, the simple fact is United manager Louis van Gaal now fully understands the importance of his majestic midfielder.

United may well strengthen in that area in the summer, but as long as he is fit, Carrick will remain a first-choice because he is simply too good, and too important to this side, to be overlooked.

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